This question was inspired by the recent question on posting to Academia.edu.
The general copyright policy for Springer, as listed on SHERPA/RoMEO, is that one can post a pre-review version to the arXiv but one must wait a year after publication before posting an post-review copy to any open repository (and one can never post the final publisher's copy):
This seems to precluding posting a post-review update to the arXiv until a year after the journal article is published. Wiley appears to have a similar policy.
To me this policy seems crazy, because it means that if you actually obey it, you cannot post a revised version to the arXiv for over a year -- and thus you are obliged to leave uncorrected any mistakes that are uncovered during the review process for a protracted period of time. That's bad scholarship at best. I don't see how anyone could comply with this policy in good faith.
It also raises a major issue for peer review. Why one should review for free for a journal that won't let the author share the results of your review with the community in as timely a fashion as possible?
Moreover, I don't see how this policy could possibly be enforceable, due to the timing of the copyright transfer agreement. The author does not transfer the copyright until after submitting the final revised version to the publisher. I am no lawyer, but it seems to me that the publisher has no copyright claim over the post-revision version of the manuscript until the author has actually returned the signed copyright transfer agreement. As best as I can tell, this leaves a generous time window during which the author can freely submit a post-review version of the manuscript to the arXiv without committing any kind of copyright violation whatsoever. The only option open to the publisher would be to refuse to publish the paper in retaliation -- which they are extremely unlikely to do.
So my question is simply this: Am I missing something here? Is there any way that such a policy could be legally enforceable if one posts the post-review version prior to signing the copyright transfer agreement?